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Contamination of potato dextrose agar (PDA) by Megaselia scalaris (Diptera:Phoridae)

Image shows Megaselia scalaris larvae feeding on PDA. This fly also pupated on the PDA surface.

The presence of M. scalaris on PDA indicates this species could thrive in this agar but further investigations are required to determine its origin. Since there has been no earlier report indicating M. scalaris could develop in PDA, it was possible that the adults were attracted to soil samples from animal decomposition or any chemical in the soil and oviposited near the containers used in soil sampling. The M. scalaris eggs, being so small (approximately 0.5 mm), might have been accidentally transferred to the agar plates and kept in the incubator during incubation period. It was also likely that the flies were actually attracted to the fungi colonies on the agar plates and used it as food source but this notion justifies further investigation. In addition to this query, we propose to study the development of M. scalaris in PDA in order to determine whether it can be a suitable growth media for this species in the future.

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